Posts Tagged ‘Katy Trail’

Hiking the Katy Trail, Oklahoma City, OK

11 August 2013

Yesterday, a group of Scouts and leaders from Troop 15 hiked most of the Katy Trail in Oklahoma City.

Hike Summary: 10.3 miles, out and back. 463 feet of altitude gain (and loss).

We started at 0835 and finished at 1345, for a pretty decent pace. The weather was perfect, in the 70s when we started, and 84F when we finished. It was cloudy about 75% of the time, and we had a nice breeze from the N/NE.

Pictures from the hike are on Google+.

There isn’t any designated parking at the north trailhead. We parked in what looks like a former driveway or road entrance on the east side of Grand about 100 yards from the trailhead. There is parking at the 16th Street access, and the south trailhead.

Most of the trail is unshaded. There is a nice stretch between 16th and 4th that is like walking through a tree tunnel.

There isn’t water on the trail. You can fill up at the Lincoln Park golf course, and maybe the golf course at Douglass High near the south end. You can exit the trail at 10th and cross I-35 to the east; there is a gas station and McDonalds there with restrooms and water and such.

OKC has done a nice job on this trail. I haven’t walked many OKC trails, but they are on my list. 🙂

The OKC webpage for the Katy Trail is here.

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Labor Day Weekend Biking on the Katy Trail in Missouri

8 September 2010

September was designated as patrol camping month for Troop 15, and Ian’s patrol decided to have their patrol camp by riding part of the Katy Trail in Missouri.

A bit of diversion. When I was a Scout, I think that we had about a 30/70 split of patrol camping to troop camping. The patrols would decide where to go and buy food and find a way out to a camp. Most of the time one or more parents would drop us off, we would do our thing, and then get picked up a couple days later.

Since I have been a Scout leader, there have been NO patrol camps until now. So this was kind of cool, even with the adults doing most of the planning. The long Labor Day weekend was the perfect choice. Out target was the Katy Trail, a “Rails to Trails” project that runs through the majority of north-central Missouri.

We headed out from the church that the Troop meets at around 0900 Saturday. We stopped for lunch at the Glass House McDonald’s near Vinita, and then made a stop at Springfield, MO.

We got to Hohn Scout Reservation about 1600. Hohn is on one of the north sides of an arm of Lake of the Ozarks. The camp is mostly about 100 feet above the lake. We got there, and immediately saw about 15 deer, including four bucks!

The guys got to work getting camp set up. I have to say that I was pretty impressed, the patrol was really good about getting set up, striking camp, and getting ready to leave for the bike ride in the morning.

That’s Ian doing a bit of bike riding.

My Kelty is the second tent from the left. I didn’t put the rain fly up the first night, and got a LOT of condensation on the tent the next morning.

It’s hard to see through the trees, but the lake was below us, and was very pretty.

We were on the west end of the biggest open area in the camp, with the climbing tower and the volleyball court across the way.

Each camp has concrete platforms (for Baker wall tents, I guess), and several shelters for food prep and eating. One thing I thought was cool – each shelter has a fixed patrol box for food storage. Raccoons tried to get into ours. We also saw a muskrat, I think.

After a nice dinner of hamburger and noodle casserole, I stood on the big field for a while and watched the stars. We all talked for a bit, and adjusted bikes, and then racked out. We were all up at 0630, had breakfast, loaded up, and headed out. We got to Boonville, MO, unloaded the bikes, did some last-minute checks, and headed out.

We started out across the big Missouri River bridge, and we were off!

Just to the south of this bridge was an old railroad bridge with a center section that could be raised up. Very cool.

Most of the trail, being former railroad bed, is flat and gravel covered. Most of the gravel is smaller than pea sized, and is on a hardpacked dirt surface, and so it very easy to ride on.

The trail goes over rivers and along bluffs and swamps, and fields of various things.

There is not much shade on the trail. Every once in a while you find it, but there wasn’t much.

The objective for the ride was 50 miles in less than eight hours (this is a requirement of the Cycling Merit Badge). All but two of us made 25 miles. One other Scout and I made it 15.8 miles. He was tired, and I got a very painful thigh muscle cramp – the first muscle cramp I have ever had. He and I met the trailing van at Rocheport, which was our lunch stop. The rest of the crew went on to McBaine, and so racked up 25 miles. Since we had a long drive back to camp (on top of the long drive from camp to the trailhead), and the boys wanted to go swimming, they elected to stop there.

This is the part of the biking trip that I made, overlaid on Google Maps:

This is the altitude plot:

What you see here is a couple trips over the big Missouri River bridge to start, then the rest of the trail is fairly flat (if I pulled the X-axis out it doesn’t look high at all).

A couple observations. These will seem obvious.

Trying to do 50 miles on a bike when you are trained up as a hiker does not work very well. I routinely can do a 2000 ft altitude gain with little strain, but a bike uses several other muscles. My cramp was probably due to lack of exercise of that muscle.

My bike was not able to get into the highest gear. I should have realized that and adjusted for it before the trip.

I drank both of my Nalgene bottles on the trail. Lots of water is important.

Riding east into a moderate wind blowing west is hard!

There were tons of people on the trail! It always makes me proud when I go out and see lots of people walking or biking or what have you.

We headed back to camp and the fire was built quickly and the cooks started in cooking. A couple of the boys and leaders went down to swim. The lake was pretty from the shore.

We had hamburger stew for dinner (Ian was one of the cooks) and it was excellent. I was in the tent by 2130, but awoke to this:

We were up and out of camp by 0830, and made it back to Oklahoma City around 1540. A nice way to spend the long Labor Day weekend. I didn’t get to hike any of the trails at Hohn, but if I am ever back, that will be my priority.